WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The Wilmington City Council weighed in on the CFPUA's plan to flush money from some deadbeat customers Tuesday night. The water and sewer monopoly wants support from the city to okay hiring a collection agency, but some city council members can't see eye to eye with the CFPUA.
The CFPUA and the city of Wilmington just can't seem to agree on who's responsible for unpaid bills.
The CFPUA says there are about 5,000 inactive accounts and it's time for those former customers to pay up.
"We wanted them to be a partner and to understand that we were going out to these inactive accounts to collect the monies that had not been paid and we wanted them to be a partner in that," said CFPUA Chair Gene Renzaglia. "I think the confusion came in at whether the city would have a cost in that and that is not the case."
The CFPUA hired the collection agency Penn Credit to track down money for the authority and the city for accounts that have had no account activity or payment for a year or more. Some city council members don't see eye to eye on the situation.
Wilmington City Councilwoman Laura Padgett said the problem is a result of the CFPUA not billing people on time. "Had you all taken that precaution we would have not had the problems and we would not be here with this issue now so this is an authority problem."
The city and the authority also disagree on the amount of money they're looking to recover from the accounts.
"The initial will be approximately $1.7 million dollars that's at risk out there that we are looking for," said Renzaglia. "That's in total for sewer, water, trash and storm water."
Wilmington Finance Director Debrah Mack says the city is looking for $940,000 just in inactive accounts alone. Those are the people who no longer live at the addresses where they received the service. There's still a lump sum of around $1 million dollars the city needs to get from the people who just simply don't pay their bills.
City council members voted against the resolution and are waiting until their December meeting before they vote on any resolution regarding the CFPUA and the collection agency.